Charities and non-profits need writers, just like any operation. From formation and operation, to funding, raising awareness, educating, and finding the right people to support. Put your heart on your sleeve and make sure you’re clear on who you are, who you support, and why other people should care.
My experience working with charities and non-profits is extensive. I am the founding board member of several charities, have written and run several educational based counselling groups, and am experienced with setting up and running non-profits at every point of the process. As a fully qualified Chartered Accountant, I also fully understand and can assist with budgets, cashflow projections, and all that technical mumbo jumbo that needs to be addressed.
With my mix of education and experience you’d be hard pressed to find another writer with the same background. My graduate degrees are merely the icing on the cake of a life lived with non-profit and charity organisations.
- Bachelor of Counselling
- Bachelor of Communications (Mass communications with specialisations in Writing, History and Advertising)
- Bachelor of Business (Professional Accounting with sub majors in Economics and Business Law).
Setting Up and Operating
Rules of Association/Constitution
A non-profit or charity organisation needs to have clear building blocks. Depending on the group or type of entity running things, there may be minimum legal requirements to follow. Even when there’s no special laws, you still want everyone involved to understand exactly how things are run so that everything goes smoothly.
Just like any operation a non-profit needs a business plan. You have goals to meet, financials to run with, and strategies to make it all work. Your business plan gives you solid guidance and helps show potential investors that you really know what you’re doing and how you’re going to make it work.
Application as a Charity
Applying to be registered as a charity is not a simple matter. It’s more precisely governed than a simple community group or non-profit organisation. You need to meet strict requirements, both in intent and actuality.
Non-profit, community groups, and charities, all require funding to run. While some funding can come from members, you typically need finances from government, commerical or individual supporters in order to advance your cause.
Grant writing typically requires extensive information in a concise and very specific format. It takes clarity, persuasion, strategy, and evidence to get this right.
Connect with your donors with a cause that they want to invest in. Whether you’re using advertisements, updates, presentations, or one on one meetings to secure funds, you need words that highlight why your organisation is worth supporting.
Whether you’re running an event or participating in a broader community event, you want to make the right impression. Get your paperwork sorted, your presentations on target, and your marketing on point.
Marketing and PR
You can’t just setup a non-profit organisation and hope that people will come to you. You need supporters and you need to source the people you will be supporting. Whether you’re running a sporting group for neighbourhood kids, raising money to fund cancer research, running a theatre group, or educating the public on the importance of getting enough sleep at night, there are words you need to get out.
Social Media Presence
A social media presence is very different to traditional marketing. It’s an online face that keeps followers up to date, educates, and keeps your organisation front and centre. With the vast majority of consumers utilising social media in their everyday life it also serves as a way to reach out to a broader audience in your local community.
Your website is your professional persona. Depending on your organisation it may or may be important to have a website. However it’s not always essential. Small, local groups can usually get away with just having a social media presence such as a facebook page and/or instagram to reach local supporters, benefactors and members.
If you have members who have signed up to recieve email updates, you want to make sure those emails have meaning. Whether you need to announce new events, celebrate good news, or make a fundraising plea, it needs to be written to suit your purpose.
Regular mailouts are not completely dead. Despite the overwhelming use of the internet there are people who prefer the good old fashioned way of communicating. This could be part of your market.
Whether you’re after a recorded, live, or in person presentation, you need to be prepared. You might need slideshows, speeches, handouts, downloads, scripts, or more.
Let the regular media know that you’re out and about. Grab their attention with a highly engaging story that people can connect to. Stir them up with facts and figures that elicite empathy to help. Inform and educate to help people understand the problem.
Whether it’s online or printed, a regular newsletter can be a vital part of working with your supporters. Keep it clear, concise, and informative. Show your personality and keep people up to date with how you’re making an impact.
Blogs and Articles
Blogs and articles are written to engage, inform or persuade. Share opinions or news, educate or argue a position, make your organisation relatable and personable. These pieces can also improve your SEO by sharing keywords and improving your standing as an expert in your field.